Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by LisaLCFan » Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:08 pm

AlanM wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:28 am
its4inthemorning wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:58 pm

...please rephrase "waste an hour every so often" to "mis-prioritize my use of time."
I would still challenge you on your rephrased statement, but if that's the way you see the world, so be it.

Alan, I totally agree with you, and I, too, was taken aback by the phrasing used by our fellow forum member "4". To me, it is never a waste of time to listen to or watch Leonard Cohen, and I sometimes make it a priority to do so!

Enriching my life with music and art -- including Leonard's -- brings meaning and solace and joy and respite and so many other positive things to my existence. If anything, I ought to do much more of it than I already do, without any guilt or negative judgement whatsoever! In fact, when I do not spend enough time listening to Leonard (or other similar activities), that is when I feel that I have wasted and mis-prioritised my time.
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by vlcoats » Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:39 pm

[/quote]
Stranger song is one of my one of the most favorite songs of LC. It was 3rd song I've learned on guitar.
[/quote]

That's some complicated picking for your 3rd ever song on the guitar, but I would think well worth the effort!
I loved that song when I first heard it, but I think I love it even more now. I am never sure if it reminds me of myself or someone else. Leonard's music is like that isn't it?

I clicked 'play' on the link you sent and listened to the piano playing the piece... it was hard for me to hear The Stranger Song in it ;-) Out of context maybe?

Thank you for posting.
Vickie
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by its4inthemorning » Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:18 pm

I do not recall discussion on here on "Puppets" from Leonard's posthumous album.

Some might say the song was a recitation of the poem and not really music, but to me the instrumental and chorus overlays add so, so much and actually make the words that much more chilling. The selection and production of these overlays was pure genious.

I came across an earlier version (circa 2006) of "Puppets" with different musical overlays on Allan Showalter's site and am posting a link here:

https://youtu.be/bZBTHhQxXoA

The differences between this old version and the final one are vast. Isn't it amazing how different a poem can be with different musical treatments?

If anything, the many discussions on this thread reinforced the idea that Leonard's lyrics lend themselves to (and in my opinion were designed to) allow for listeners to arrive at their own interpretations based on their own life experiences. That being said, it seems somewhat unlikely that anyone could interpret the beginning stanzas as anything but references to Nazi Germany and the holocaust. Based on when the poem was written, the stanzas referencing "presidents" would seem to be references to the Iraq war, but of course those stanzas could apply to any leader who takes his country to war, even a war that history has good things to say about. It is the stanzas about the puppet lovers and the puppet reader that, at least to me, are the most clever and thought-provoking. Until these stanzas, the listener may have been lulled into a complacency of sorts, as he might feel the holocaust and the Iraq war were outside of his responsibility and control. But Cohen seems to be reminding listeners that it is actions such as "shaking one's head" and "turning away from all of this" by ordinary people that ultimately allow very bad things to occur.

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by vlcoats » Fri Oct 29, 2021 9:03 pm

Of all the songs on TFTD, Puppets is probably towards the bottom of the list if I were to make one. But ranking Leonard's songs is a little like taking a pile of perfect diamonds and assembling them in order from your favorite to your least favorite. They are all still perfect diamonds.

Having said that, the thing about Puppets that I have trouble with is the repetitive word 'puppet' throughout. Yes I know that is the whole essence of the song, but for some reason it gets to me, and I wish it had a little more meat and potatoes in it.

As for the meaning. unlike 4, I don't think Leonard is trying to warn us against complacency and turning away or 'bad things' might happen. I think it is more his way of accepting and surrendering to the fact that we are not in control. We are not the puppeteers. History repeats itself in love and in war with different players, including puppet me and puppet you.

I have to say again though that I love that album... the tone of it and Leonard's awesome voice. The musical arrangements are perfect. And I am wild about the video for Moving On! (Which may or may not have something to do with the fact that it was filmed on Hydra and features a donkey :D)

Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by B4real » Sat Oct 30, 2021 2:12 am

Ah, by both of you talking about "puppets" and “turning away” has reminded me of a favourite song called “On The Turning Away” by Pink Floyd that has always resonated with me over the years since I first bought it on cassette tape.

Here’s the first verse:
“On the turning away from the pale down-trodden
And the words they say which we won’t understand
Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in the turning away”

And the last verse:
“No more turning away from the weak and the weary
No more turning away from the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be no more turning away”


And consequently, I am reminded of these conversations:

https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... yd#p370712

https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... yd#p374398
4 wrote: I never would have imagined that a connection could develop between Cohen and Pink Floyd, one of my favorite rock groups...
... with 4 and Pink Floyd and LC again here too -
https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... yd#p373172

Also, I did a search for “puppets” and this is the result - https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/searc ... sf=msgonly

It seems sometimes things really do have unsuspected circular connections ;-)
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
its4inthemorning
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by its4inthemorning » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:31 pm

Bev, a question: Did you simply use the search function regarding "Puppets" being previously discussed here, or did you actually recall the discussions you cited? If the latter, then my memory is far, far worse than yours, even after reading the comments again I only barely recalled them. (Make me feel relieved by saying you just used the search function.)

"On turning Away" is a beautiful song both musically and lyrically. Roger Waters wrote most of Pink Floyd's lyrics after Syd Barrett left the picture through "The Wall," then David Gilmour took over most of the lyricist duties, most recently with Polly Samson as co-writer. As an aside, the album that contains "On Turning Away" also includes "Learning to Fly." Before I heard this song, I considered what it would be about: growing up, evolving a relationship, mastering some talent, etc. Then I heard the song and was somewhat shocked to find that it literally is about learning to fly--Gilmour loves airplanes and flying and has a pilot's license!

As for "Puppets," Vickie I can understand why it ranks lowest on your favorites list from TFTD. I had the same feeling the first time I listened, but....something really grabbed me with each successive play. Your aversion to the word "puppets" is duly noted and I will henceforth try to remember to use "marionettes" instead.

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by B4real » Sat Oct 30, 2021 11:49 pm

its4inthemorning wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:31 pm
Bev, a question: Did you simply use the search function regarding "Puppets" being previously discussed here, or did you actually recall the discussions you cited? If the latter, then my memory is far, far worse than yours, even after reading the comments again I only barely recalled them. (Make me feel relieved by saying you just used the search function.)
4
He, he! 4, I used both functions :) my memory and the forum search.
Firstly, I remembered you previously saying something (but not precisely) about Puppets and that I had also posted a link to LC reciting that original poem when I gave Vickie her intermediate to advanced diploma - see the last post in the search link. I then used the search button as a general inquiry for all references to Puppets on this thread.

4, I should add, in any case, don’t think twice about the state of your memory. Here’s what Leonard said about his from an interview in 2005 called Leonard Looks Back On The Past by Kari Hesthamar:
“My memory is not so good, you know, in fact, I’ve been blessed with amnesia, I hardly remember anything from the past, so that’s made me a very unsentimental person, I don’t have any good memories, or bad memories, so it’s okay. But I very rarely review my memories”...
“As I’ve told you many times now, my memory…, it’s just not that my memory is not good, it’s that I don’t exercise my memory so it gets flabby and it goes to sleep, because I’m not interested in the past”...
Interviewer: There you see, you have good memory, you can recall...
"I’m just performing darling, I don’t really care about those things to tell you the truth".
;-)
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Post by B4real » Sat Nov 06, 2021 12:29 am

its4inthemorning wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:18 pm
I do not recall discussion on here on "Puppets" from Leonard's posthumous album.
4
4, You must have ESP ;-)

See here - https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewt ... 58#p377734

EDIT: Ha! 4, thanks for your joint email confirming your special function ;-)
Also, prompted by something else, I've just watched again an LC interview from 2006 and thought I'd add and compare what he said about his memory a year later on: "I'm blessed with active amnesia*.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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